Industry giants Siemens, Roll-Royce and Airbus are to collaborate on the development of hybrid-electric propulsion for commercial aircraft, an advance that could help cut emissions, aircraft noise and save fuel.
The collaboration was announced, 28 November 2017, at the Royal Aeronautical Society in London, which aims at developing a near-term flight demonstrator. The E-Fan X hybrid-electric technology demonstrator is anticipated to fly in 2020 following ground tests.
“The E-Fan X is an important next step in our goal of making electric flight a reality in the foreseeable future. The lessons we learned from a long history of electric flight demonstrators, starting with the Cri-Cri, including the e-Genius, E-Star, and culminating most recently with the E-Fan 1.2, as well as the fruits of the E-Aircraft Systems House collaboration with Siemens, will pave the way to a hybrid single-aisle commercial aircraft that is safe, efficient, and cost-effective,” said Paul Eremenko, chief technology officer at Airbus.
Having a clean, green aircarft is the aircraft of the future and is considered being among the top challenges for today’s aviation sector. The way forward is a means of transport with improved environmental performance, that is more efficient and less reliant on fossil fuels.